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The power of modal operators (modal verbs) [Explained]

The power of modal operators (modal verbs) [Explained]

What are modal operators (can, must…) and why are they so powerful? In this article you will find the best examples. Read along to find out all about modal operators of necessity and modal operators of possibility…

What are modal verbs aka modal operators?

Modal verbs are the words ‘can‘ and ‘must‘. So there are two different types of modal verbs.

  1. Rules: It should be done like this. It is required that …
  2. Possibilities: You can allow that growth to take place in your life. It is possible…

As you can see in the above two examples, there are two types of modal operators. The first was a modal operator of necessity and the second was a modal operator of possibility.

Modal verbs type 1: modal verbs of necessity

  • You should now clearly see…
  • You should  feel that it is completely okay to learn in this space.
  • Should a person have to demand respect?
  • You have to be aware of / that …
  • You should understand this now … to some degree …

Modal verbs type 2: modal verbs of possibility

  • You can close your eyes for even more relaxation.
  • You can learn this easily now.
  • You can get more and more peaceful.
  • You might be able discover that you can learn here (which is unspecified verb here, it immediately is a presupposition?) …
  • You can suddenly change.
  • I can make friends.
  • It just might be possible that you can learn this quite easily.
  • “You’re going to do x?” “It could just be like that…”
  • That could just be
  • Because the imaginary line can always tell …
  • You might wonder how easy it is to find these exercises, and if they weren’t before, it will now!
  • You might have some examples to think and write.

You could, or you couldn’t… (sort of a modal operator of possibility)

  • You might or you wouldn’t be able to feel the comfortable feeling in your hands.
  • I wonder if you are going to do the dishes (or not).
  • I wonder if you could close the window.

You can do a lot more with modal verbs …

For more modal operators, see Reverse Psychology : “You wouldn’t (yet) …” The modal operator of possibility (you can …) is also an excellent language softener for interviews .

All examples mentioned so far are parts of the Milton model. If the other person is paying attention and using the Metamodel as an antidote, he will be able to ask:

  • How do you know that?
  • What is the source?
  • Why is that required?
  • What if I didn’t?
  • What are you talking about specifically?

Be careful with ‘must’… Replace it with ‘may’ or ‘want’!

Pay attention to the words you choose in your language and in your thoughts. There is a good chance that the word ‘must’ is often used there so far! We often have to do a lot of ourselves, but this is a metamodel violation. What can we do about this?

Step one is to become aware of this and step two is to replace the word “must” with “want” or “may”. Try it out. “I still have to finish that newsletter” is very different from “I still want to finish that newsletter”. “I have to exercise more” or “I can exercise more / I allow myself more sports”. This will give you a different, more loving feeling for yourself.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!